#CYMATICS: SOUND WAVES #LEVITATE LIQUID. Scientists use sound waves at #ArgonneNationalLabratory to
develop an “acoustic levitator.” Water droplets are placed between two vertically stacked speakers that produce high range sound waves. This interference creates a standing wave causing the water droplets to levitate in mid air. Acoustic levitation has also been used by other scientists to levitate many small objects. This cymatic research could lead to new developments in transportation, architecture and design.
#4Biddenknowledge (at Argonne National Laboratory)
With a Hit LP and Movie, Rock’s Most Secretive and Sexy Cult Hero Grows into a Cultural Phenomenon
He glittered in a white sequined cape, ornately futuristic atop a bank of speakers in the darkened hall. Eerie synthesizer chords echoed through the arena, laser lights dappled the crowd and a garbled heavenly voice rumbled, “I’m confused.” And as confetti rained down, 19,000 fans at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena saw the song and spectacle of Prince Rogers Nelson. “Detroit,” he thundered, “I’ve come to play with you!”
For Prince, a playground is a place where the id runs free. Prince’s former manager once said that “his worst fear is being normal,” and even the singer’s friends admit that he’s weird. On one other point fans and critics alike can agree: At 26, the musical polymath, film star and stage stud is currently the hottest act in show business. One newspaper has even coined a word for the hysteria he generates: Princedemonia.
Prince’s ascendance began two years ago with his rhapsodic dance LP, 1999, which still rides the charts after 105 weeks. He followed that with a feature film, Purple Rain, that became a surprise summer hit. The film spawned a sound track, which he produced, arranged, composed—and made into the No. 1 album. Spinning off clones faster than a Cambridge lab, he transformed a jazz percussionist named Sheila Escovedo into the singing sex-pot Sheila E.
and turned a former consort, Denise Matthews, a Pearl Drops tooth polish model, into Vanity, the leader of a camisole-clad girl group whose songs—written by Prince, of course—became dance-floor hits.
Last week Prince and his band, the Revolution, hit the concert trail for the first time in two years. In Washington, D.C Prince-lovers gobbled up 130,000 tickets in less than 10 hours, prompting one reporter to crack, “Maybe those Jackson fellows could open for him when they finish their Victory tour."
The comparisons with Michael are inevitable, since each is young, gifted, black—and a notorious recluse. Each has ignited, and united, black and white audiences with music that breaks down barriers among soul, funk and rock. But Prince’s risqué lyrics extolling the joy of sex go where no mainstream rocker has dared to go before. And while Michael is a man of mystery, Prince is a person of paradox. Consider the evidence.
Onstage, at his most outrageous, he has writhed atop a stack of speakers in nothing more than bikini briefs, leg warmers and a layer of sweat. Yet he covered up with a ‘30s-style tank suit when he went swimming at his hometown Y. He controls every facet of his career and his music, yet he’s too shy to face the press. He claims to speak "the truth” in his songs but early in his career lied to reporters about his name (he denied it was Nelson), his birth date (1958, which he pushed up to 1960) and even his racial heritage (he says he is “mixed” but his father says both parents are black).
He is a religious paradox as well. He gives thanks to God on his albums, yet his songs celebrate the pleasures of flesh, and the gospel he preaches is salvation by sex. In a song called Sister he even exploited the Big Daddy of all taboos: incest.
Who is this guy?
“The filthiest rock 'n’ roller ever to prance across the stage,” fumes Dan Peters, 33, a minister at the interdenominational Zion Christian Center in North St. Paul, Minn. For five years Dan and a brother have been kindling an antirock crusade by crisscrossing the country urging youngsters to destroy offending albums. At the moment the brothers are particularly incensed about a new song called Darling Nikki, in which Prince sings, “I am fine, fine because the Lord is coming soon.” “Kids come up to us and say, 'See, that shows he is a Christian,’ ” sputters Dan. “And I say, 'As far as we can tell from listening to the lyrics, his Lord is a penis.’ ”
Yet Prince’s songs, which include themes of lost love, politics and gun control, seem to mirror the concerns and anxieties of a sexually precocious, socially aware generation. “I guess if there’s a concept, it’s freedom—personal freedom—and the fact that we all have to do what we want to do,” Prince said of his music in my interview with him in 1981. A swaggering conqueror onstage, he seemed vulnerable in person, speaking in short, grudging bursts of words that nevertheless revealed more than he wanted me to know. Denying that he wanted to shock or outrage, he insisted, “I think I say exactly the way it is. I don’t particularly think what I sing about is so controversial. My albums deal with being loved and accepted. They deal with war. They deal with sex. When a girl can get birth control pills at age 12, she knows just about as much as I do. My mom had stuff in her room that I could sneak in and get…books, vibrators. I did it. I’m sure everybody does…It could be that I have a need to be different."
The difference began in Minneapolis, where Prince was born to Mattie and John Nelson, who already had seven other children from previous marriages. He was christened Prince after his father, a jazz pianist whose stage name was Prince Rogers. He was a man whose musicianship—and possibly arrogance—Prince admired. His songs were different, "unique,” Prince said. “He doesn’t listen to any other music. I respect anybody who doesn’t try to copy other people."
Prince had a large family but not much of a home. He and his father were never really close—"He found it hard to show emotion. I find that true of most men.” Prince considered himself and his sister “mistakes,” and after his parents’ divorce and his mother’s remarriage, he was passed from relative to relative. His last stop was the house of Bernadette Anderson, whose son André was a buddy and bandmate. Like his father, Prince “kept to himself,” Anderson recalls, working with André in a CETA youth program and acting the dutiful son. (He still remembers her on Mother’s Day, most recently with Lalique crystal.)
To André’s mother, he may have appeared quiet and shy. Inside, says a Minneapolitan who has known him since he was 16, he was “an emotional hand grenade capable of enormous visceral emotional swings…a volcano of emotion boiling under the surface.” His second cousin Charles Smith tells of the time he and the young Prince were riding on the freeway and a truck full of hooligans pelted their windshield with bottles. Smith, who was driving, wanted to flee but Prince refused to ignore that attack. “They made him so mad and scared,” Smith recalls, “he stepped down on my foot to speed up and hit them."
During adolescence, Prince began finding his muse. In his basement bedroom he lingered over the vivid images he found in porn novels, using some of those images in songs. Embossed in 14-karat legend are tales he told early in his career about orgies at 13 with neighborhood girls. (In an interview that made everyone cringe, André boasted of wrapping girls up with duck tape.) But Charles Smith thinks such stories are sheer fantasy. "Everybody was basically scared of girls,” he concedes. “We talked a lot of mess."
A musical omnivore, Prince learned to play a dozen instruments by ear. Chris Moon, an aspiring songwriter who discovered the prodigy, recalls that Prince spent long nights holed up in Moon’s small recording studio, patiently teaching himself to make his own demo tapes. He and Moon agreed to collaborate on a tune, and when the time came to record, Prince laid down guitar vocals, then offered to play keyboards. "This little kid with a huge Afro, he was pretty good,” Moon recalls. He was ready to call in a rhythm section when Prince asked, “Can I give it a shot?” Whereupon, says Moon, “He put down the bass guitar and I said, 'Go for it, Prince.’ So he ran over to the drums.” And Moon thought, “I’ve found the next Stevie Wonder.”
But the question was how to break a 5'3", black, 18-year-old musical dynamo. Prince’s first manager, Owen Husney, with his adman instincts, stoked the star-maker machinery by fudging Prince’s age and then dropping his last name to add to the mystery. Moon fueled the fires by writing lyrics full of sexy innuendo. “I thought, 'What’s the audience? Young girls.’ ” So the two wrote Soft and Wet. “The lines were pretty vague. But I thought the title would catch people’s ears."
Prince’s first two LPs, with their sexy soul, established him with black audiences as a poetic prince of the libido. His third, Dirty Mind, at first seemed doomed to failure, with its X-rated lyrics and a cover of Prince stripped down to his bikini, and even Owen Husney complained that Prince had "taken a good marketing gimmick too far.”
But Prince’s bold sexuality touched a nerve in the hip pop culture, and white critics praised him for music that fused Jimi Hendrix-style guitar, disco thump and roboty synthesizers. Rolling Stone proclaimed him artist of the year in 1982, and on the strength of 1999’s three Top 10 hits, he was launched toward stardom.
In Purple Rain, Prince played the Kid—a name he is often called by his Minneapolis circle—a selfish, tormented, unreachable soul who fights to survive an unhappy home life and turns inward, refusing to share his emotional or creative life. Prince has described the film as an “emotional autobiography.” Says his keyboardist Matt Fink: “For the first two years that I worked with him, Prince never talked to any of us. Once he started talking about his life with his parents. He mentioned something about having a tough time. Then he suddenly realized what he was doing and clammed up. That was two and a half years ago. We never heard about his personal life again.”
Revolution guitarist Lisa Coleman calls Prince a “genius,” but others haven’t been so generous. Some people who have worked with Prince call him Ayatollah or Napoleon. Others says he is simply a perfectionist who demands only what he asks of himself. He drives his musicians hard, even fining them for showing up late to rehearsals. He dictates what they wear during his show and refuses to let them give interviews without his permission.
As an outlet for his other musical interests, he has created pop protégé bands like the Time and Vanity 6 (re-christened Apollonia 6). Like the title character in The Idolmaker, one of his favorite films, he taught his charges how to dress and move onstage and also provided them with royal treatment in the studio. He produces albums other than his own under the pseudonym the Starr Company.
But there are signs that his empire may be crumbling. Morris Day, the Time’s dapper front man, whose braggadocio performance in Purple Rain won kudos from critics, left to pursue a solo career. So did Prince’s former girlfriend, Vanity, a loss that friends say “left him brokenhearted.” Bernadette Anderson, whose son André is another defector from Prince’s band, says, “You either go along with Prince or not at all.”
“Friendship, real friendship, that’s all that counts,” Prince once said wistfully, admitting, “I would like to be a more loving person.” Keyboard player Wendy Melvoin of the Revolution believes that Prince is changing: “There’s a willingness to accept new things.” The title of his film, Purple Rain, may have symbolized what she calls “a new beginning. Purple, the sky at dawn; rain, the cleansing factor.” The song itself grew in a late-night jam session, with each band member contributing a lick, the first time Prince had let them share in creating his music. “I think the most important lesson he has learned is that people care about him,” says Lisa Coleman. “He did start out alone.”
Perhaps the quest was not just for stardom but also to belong. That would explain why the Kid continues to live in Minneapolis, where he has devised a social world with other like-minded rebels. Explains Lisa: “I grew up in my own room, making music and having philosophies I thought no one would ever share. That’s exactly the way Prince grew up, so we find solace in each other.”
With no special woman in his life (“He’s married to his music,” says Vanity), Prince roams his hometown haunts with friends like Sheila E. A typical evening consists of supper at Rudolf’s, a barbecue house where you find the kind of fan who still remembers the autograph Prince signed for her six years ago. “Love, God, Prince,” it said. He still turns to religion for guidance, and current protégée Apollonia remembers finding a Bible in her motel room “opened to a scripture that he wanted me to read.” (How he got into her room remains a mystery. “Maybe he picked the lock,” she jokes.)
At heart, he’s a homebody, and he returns from evenings at the now famous First Avenue Club—usually alone—to his purple house with its pots of flowers and Marilyn Monroe posters. Late into the night he writes music and short stories with a purple pen on a purple pad that he carries about “like Walt Whitman,” says Wendy. Sometimes the Kid needs more. At least once he has slipped out of bed, jumped onto his bicycle and pedaled off—naked—into the Minneapolis dawn.
That prankish spirit reigns onstage, where His Royal Badness is at his hot, erotic best. “Do you want to take a bath with me?” he taunted the crowd last week during his concert’s show-stopper, stripping to his waist and climbing into an oversized elevated purple bathtub. Prince has tamed his sexual shtik; there’s no more necking with his female musicians. Gone too are the bikini briefs and his trademark, the pervert’s trench coat. What remains is enough to satisfy the most demanding fan: stiletto-heeled splits and leaps, wicked sonic screams and suggestive pelvic thrusts. After nearly two hours he gave his thanks with a melting grin that seemed to say that if the Kid had his way, he’d keep dancing until 1999. We’d ask him, but we know he wouldn’t talk.
Normally, he would have mourned the loss of the pizza on the floor, but Annabeth’s lips were more addictive than he could have ever imagined.
Whoa, this is happening! he thought. Shock shut down every muscle in his body. His arms were out in front of him, like a doll sitting on a shelf. Annabeth was kissing him. Annabeth, the girl who Percy thought was a guy and had a super - sort of gay - crush on, was kissing him. Her eyes were squeezed shut, and she tasted like chocolate, even though her lips were firm against his mouth, like she expected something bad was going to happen or something would spark in between their touch, electrifying them both back to their senses. And something like that kind of did happen, but in a way neither of them seemed to mind. Annabeth’s lips twitched ever so slightly and they softened, allowing for Percy to glided his over hers and nudge his chin forward.
Whoa, he thought again as his eyes slipped closed and he sighed with bliss, this is actually happening.
“No one taught me about cars,” Gibson tells me via phone. “But I knew I wanted to find things that were beautiful. No matter how horrific the circumstance that doesn’t mean you aren’t trying to create something beautiful. We just wanted to find something iconic, something worth salvaging.”
For the main story line, Gibson created 88 final cars, each with its own story and team of mechanics. But all told, he made 150 Frankenbeast vehicles…
Furiosa’s War Rig
This massive rig is as much of a character in the film as any—so it makes sense that it’s driven by the movie’s real hero, bionic-armed Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron). It’s a Czechoslovakian Tatra and Chevy Fleetmaster fused together into a six-wheel-drive 18-wheeler powered with twin V8 engines. It also has a long, bulky fuel tank and a fuel pod trailer hanging off the end. Welded to the hull are Volkswagen Beetle and Track cabin shells that are like mobile forts for the War Boys to hang onto during supply runs and battle missions. The rig also has racks of tools and concealed weapons along its entire body, along with such details as a wirework steering wheel affixed with a skull.
“I don’t think there’s anything Charlize couldn’t do,” Gibson says. “She didn’t always have to be responsible for driving it, particularly when it was going over 80 km per hour, but she most certainly did drive it.”
Immortan Joe’s Gigahorse
Joe’s car is made of two 1959 Cadillac Devilles split, widened, and mounted with jacked-up fins along the side and rears. It’s a car made for a despot, because well, he is one. (Actor Hugh Keays-Byrne also appeared in the first film). His beast has a custom gearbox, with two V16 engines and two-meter-high double-wide wheels. It has a whaler’s harpoon and a flamethrower along the rear, too.
Gibson says the tail of the 1959 Cadillac stood out to him as something exceptionally beautiful and worth salvaging. “In a world where nobody had one of anything, it seemed a fait accompli that he would have a pair of 1959 coupe DeVilles,” Gibson says. “We spent two months making them operational.”
Doof Warrior’s Doof WagonThis is possibly the most feverishly insane contraption of them all. Warner Brothers calls it a “sonic carmageddon,” an apt description. This speaker-stacked, guitar-thrashed monstrosity was meant to rally the troops in the way drummers marched with soldiers in ancient battles. It has a supercharged V8 engine with a mobile stage, a wall of speakers and sub-woofers, and air conditioning ducts meant to drive home the beat of the accompanying Taiko drummers. The Doof Warrior swings from a bungee cord mounted to the front as he shreds metal while flames are thrown from a double-necked electric guitar. Somebody will definitely recreate it at Burning Man this year.
Nux’s Chevrolet Coupe
The hot young War Boy (Nicholas Hoult) drives a hot car: a Chevy five-window coupe with a super-turbocharged, nitrous-boosted, steel coil, V8 engine. The whole thing has canted wheels and swooping exhaust pipes. It even has details of things Nux picked up in his short life, such as a doll-face steering wheel.
“Because he was a young man, he was screaming out for a young man’s hot rod,” Gibson says. “The ‘32 Deuce coupe is the perfect little hot rod to drive to Valhalla—everything we did to that car was to fetishize it.”
I THINK THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANTED: ANNOTATING THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #10
Once again, we return. I didn’t do annotations for last month’s WicDiv because I wasn’t sure it was really my place, for any number of reasons. Also I kept forgetting to find the time, because I’ve also got actual work and I’m writing a story about people having sex with brands in a future virtual reality social network. Anyway. There are annotations for issues seven and eight. I’m sad because of the election and this is a nice distraction.
NOTHING PORTENTOUS ABOUT THAT THEN.
The underground is indeed a mysterious place. There’s a double, even triple meaning here – the Morrigan and Baphomet first appeared at a secret gig in the London Underground train network, “underground” in music terms is most often used by someone bragging that the bands they listen to are so far off the mainstream radar as to be subterranean, and in terms of the pantheon they’re of the darker ilk. Which means the underground is sort-of WicDiv’s underworld.
The shadows and colour here are a lot like the darkness that almost consumed Laura in issue three, before a police raid broke up Morrigan and Baphomet’s, ahem, lover’s quarrel. It is nothing like the dingy karaoke bar where they sang My Chemical Romance in issue seven.
Issue seven, by the way, is the first time we saw Baphomet referring to the Morrigan as Marian. There, he caught himself using her mortal name around a non-god. Here, he uses it to show that he’s serious. Names are very important in WicDiv, but especially this issue, and his not wanting to play around is interesting because it suggests a dropping of certain acts, and a further identity for the three-in-one god.
How did Morrigan doom Baphomet? I dunno. Portentous as fuck mate. They’re a bit Sid and Nancy, except with the roles reversed; she is the one with all the power, he’s endlessly self-destructive. Well, they’re both self-destructive. In issue three, Morrigan said “Killing you is too quick a thing. Better to destroy you.” Hmmmm.
Inanna and Laura’s friendship has blossomed quickly, but it doesn’t ever feel rushed. It makes sense they’d be best buds, and in the few scenes they’ve shared together you get a very good sense of how their dynamic works. They have the sort of mutual trust and support that neither gets from the rest of the pantheon, Inanna hyper-sensitive to the point that he apologises for hugging Laura without asking. And hey, I guess Laura’s just telling everyone about her almost-Luci moment now? Good for her, I guess. Her parents seem to be in the loop with anything. Unlike the readers…
BECAUSE WE STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED WITH LAURA AND BAAL.
Ahem. Before that, however, Christ this is a gorgeous double-page spread. It’s interesting that the plinths (they look more like a collection of 2001 monoliths with logos but they may very well be god-like speaker stacks) are arranged in the same order as the pantheon diagram that figures into every issue’s chapter breaks, but they’re tilted in such a way that you can’t see Luci’s. They were still using her icon – much to Laura’s chagrin – at the Fantheon convention in issue seven, for example.
Hey, we still don’t know what happened when Baal took Laura home after the night raving with Dionysus! Her and Baal don’t seem to be too at odds here, and she’s apparently be keeping whatever it was he told her close to the chest. Something to do with Inanna? Considering how this issue ends, does Baal know what’s coming for his ex-beau?
David Blake’s story checks out. Those are indeed panels from past issues of The Wicked + The Divine – issues one and six, specifically – for the flashbacks to the gunmen who shot at the pantheon right at the start, before having their heads exploded by Luci. After being told her generation didn’t deserve a pantheon, Laura shot back with “Let’s talk in two years,” and guess what? Now her and Blake are talking, and she was right. Woo! It’s like that Twin Peaks thing, except with less time between them, and this one is definitely happening.
This conversation also sees the first time Laura refers to “Cassandra” and is corrected with “Urðr”. This is also quite important. We will soon see why! Because I’ve not typed it yet, and I need to catch those swirling thoughts and put them down in a half-legible state. Writing.
Oh yeah, we’ve seen the headless corpses of Ackford and Wilkes before, too, after their failed attempt at the Prometheus Gambit (introduced in issue seven, debunked by no less an authority than Ananke in issue ten). Inanna did “the whole divination thing” on them in issue six, discovering that they were fans, without quite managing to ID them properly.
Apparently there’s no big conspiracy, and Occam’s Razor suggests that Luci probably did kill the judge herself. Tsk, well readers, guess that’s it. All our theories were for nought. NOT REALLY THOUGH THERE’S OBVIOUSLY SOMETHING FISHY GOING ON SO THAT WE GET A BIG REVEAL AT THE END OF THIS ARC.
“Anyway, look at Cassandra. You wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but you couldn’t have hoped for a better person to get the unlucky ticket.” Blake goes from Urðr to Cassandra himself, and you can read this statement one of two ways (from where I’m sitting anyway): Cass was “lucky” to become the last member of the pantheon because she’d been investigating them so heavily for so long, orrrrrrrr because Cassandra is a trans woman and Annanke offered her the chance to have her body truly “transformed”, see?
A lot of issue eleven is about issues of identity, finding your place in the world, and what happens when you might have realised you got that place wrong initially. Like: Laura assuming she might be the next member of the pantheon, before realising this is “not her story”.
Poor Baphomet. Most cartoon characters get both an angel and a devil on their shoulder, giving conflicting advice in times of strife. When he clicks his fingers he gets only the devilish side, complete with uber-metal word bubbles, telling him that it’s either “you or them”. Which is weird. Is Morrigan looking to destroy somebody, and if not Baphomet then somebody else? Is Gentle Annie nothing of the sort? Okay, I have so many more theories now.
But, staying in my lane: I’ve not been able to get “I’m Going To Hell” by The Long Blondes, the last track from their last album, out of my head since reading these pages. Kate Jackson’s refrain is a little different from Baphomet’s – “If I’m going to hell then I may as well make it worth my while,” followed by “Will you forgive me now?”
Not that Baphomet is out for forgiveness. Clearly he didn’t run his attempted murder past the Morrigan, since she shows up at the opportune moment to thwart it – she has a habit of showing up like this, being enlisted by Laura to do the same during the big god showdown in issue five, her flurry of birds doing the business there as it did in issue three.
“You wanted this hell, Little Lily White Dante,” she tells him. Does she mean the underground realm they both live in, perhaps hinting at a pre-pantheon past for the couple? Or does she mean the “hell” happening on Earth right now, with Luci dead and the like? “What occurs above so reflects below, or As above so below” is an Aleister Crowley quote related to Baphomet, FYI.
Seriously, what is going on with these two? Baphomet acts like he had no choice but to try and merk Urðr, whilst the Morrigan says “I think this is exactly what you wanted.” Maybe he’s still just cheesed at Cassandra getting his dressing-down by Ananke on camera last issue, with the added rankle that she then got made the next member of the pantheon. He’s also striking as Urðr performs, Ananke having told him his defenses are weakest at such times in that same issue.
Morrigan nonetheless guards him from Ananke’s retribution which, last time a god “moved with murderous intent”, meant exploding Luci’s head. Perhaps that’s the Lily White Baphomet looking similarly headless on the cover of next month’s issue…?
“They’ve gone underground. Their underground,” Baal’s reluctance to go after the pair seems more rooted in knowing that it’s hopeless than anything else. Flicking back through past issues, it’s clear that Baphomet and the Morrigan have their seats at Woden’s Valhalla, the retreat of the pantheon seen in issue four, but they don’t appear to spend any time there at all. They’re always apart from the rest of the pantheon – except for at the Dionysus rave, where Badb warned Laura to be careful talking to Baal, and Baphomet was a dick.
Baal and Sakhmet seem to be in Ananke’s pocket more than any other members of the pantheon, with Baal being the first one to put the smack down on Luci when she got out of prison, and Sakhmet only appearing so far in that issue, the first, and at Valhalla.
Urðr’s transcendent, existentialist performance is a world apart from the other gods we’ve seen so far: Amaterasu is the only other one who performed on a stage, but that was all Florence-esque dresses and magic sparkles; Baphomet and Morrigan set a tube station on fire; Dionysus took everyone into a formalistically experimental rave space. This is all monochromatic light and shadow, the words passing through people suspended in mid-air. Also, there’s an audience member in a wheelchair, because WicDiv is good with representation in a non-showy way which I adore.
Oh yeah, quick mythology lesson: Urðr, Verðandi and Skuld are The Norns from Norse mythology, more or less comparable to The Fates of Greek legend. Their performing at Ragnarok is important, since when they show up in Norse myth it heralds the end of the golden age of the gods. Because stuff is getting hella dark in WicDiv, see? Also, they’re all very clearly female. Also also: now it kinda makes sense Woden whispered something secret to Cass in issue eight, no?
Unified theory of the importance of names in mythology: so, this page has Laura correcting herself when calling Urðr Cass. There’s the aforementioned thing with identity and gender with Cassandra, long since identified as a trans woman, and having been transformed into a female god. Names are an important signifier of gender in the English language, so getting her name right here is analogous to getting someone’s correct gender pronouns, ie very important.
On a mythological level, meanwhile…well, I’ve just been reading Gillen’s Journey Into Mystery, and there’s a thread running through that of the binding power of names, and how in many forms of magic knowing and/or saying somebody’s name either lets you wield or lose control of them.
The there’s the sociological idea of the importance of names, touched upon with the recent episode of Idea Channel on the female Thor. There’s two schools of theory on how names work: Millianism suggests names work to define only one person which, in the case of WicDiv, doesn’t really work because the gods are constantly being reborn, so there’s been lots of Urðrs (and Baphomets, and Amaterasus…). Description theory, meanwhile, suggest names signify “a bundle of characteristics that describes its bearer”.
One of which, in the case of Cassandra, is that she identifies as a woman. But now she identifies as a god, too, so whilst Cass does the former, it doesn’t do the latter – not calling her Urðr kind of ignores that part of who she is now. Identity! Names! Important!
If you did not cry at this conversation and hug then I don’t know what to tell you. Urðr has something to say, and not everybody will understand, but some will, and that is the importance of art innit.
The Morrigan is worried about being hunted by the rest of the pantheon, and Baphomet again refers to her as Marian. Which, bearing in mind all that stuff I just stole from Mike Rugnetta, means he’s not particularly taking her serious as a god, by refusing to use the name(s) that signify her as such. What a dick. He could be worse, though, since his devil-conscience suggests that he’s a “murderous asshole”. So did he kill that judge? That would put paid to him saying Morrigan lied to give him an alibi for that whole thing.
Whatever, he’s definitely going to kill again. And he’s gunning for Inanna, apparently, because Kieron Gillen hates you and doesn’t want you to be happy. Ananke told him that a death god killing a god “could tear a few more years for yourself. Their life for your life.” Eep.
The frat house was buzzing with life, & Kyle grinned from atop the stairs. His well worn Kappa polo was exchanged for a long sleeve navy henley & his favorite varsity jacket, a half empty beer can in one hand. He leaned over the banister, eyeing the milling guests. A game of beer pong was heating up in the corner, he heard excitable voices placing bets on winner & Kyle could already see himself having to pull the twitchy looking stoner & the pumped of lacrosse Captain apart at some point tonight. He snickered to himself. There was a pair of girls making out on the couch who weren’t far away from sneaking off to another room (he couldn’t blame ‘em - not with the apparently already drunk little group of frat boys near them, leering & cheering.) He rolled brown eyes.
Kyle shifted himself from the banister. & began to ascend from his little perch & into the party den. As soon as his foot hit the second step the heavy intro of a classic rock song started up, a deep voice wailing about the house of the rising sun.& Kyle grinned, glancing knowingly towards the stacked speakers where one of his frat brothers, Brennan, raised a plastic cup in salute. Brennan had insisted Kyle listened to weak shit & needed some more real rock.
He took the stairs two steps a go & on his way he was greeting almost everyone. Past the foyer, in the spacious but packed common room, he spotted her. Avery. He honestly didn’t think she’d show & his smile brightened at this pleasant surprise. He started towards her direction & he was beat to it by his burly redhead friend - Archie. It looked as though Archie had been waiting to catch the new student & Kyle figured he wasn’t going to be the only one interested.
A minute later, Kyle sidled up to Archie & handed him his now empty can. “Go get your bro another, Archie!” Kyle grinned, ruffling short red strands. Archie spared Avery a glance that Kyle didn’t really notice – he was smiling now at the girl.
“Didn’t think you’d show.” He admitted, after Archie gave his shoulder a chummy bump & went to refresh their drinks. “Welcome to Kappa Lambda Gamma House..” The blond said, sweeping a hand over the room full of noisy revelers. “Tulane’s finest.” He chuckled. “Having fun?”
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Doof Wagon:
Every army has a little drummer boy to keep the beat
and stir the heart and the war boys of the Wasteland are no
exception. Here, mounted drummers pound a Taiko beat on huge
resonators built of aircon duct, while coma the Doof Warrior,
blind and disfigured, slung in a web of bunny and spread-eagled before a stack of
speakers, hurtles across the desert landscape on a repurposed 8×8. M.A.N. missile
carrier. The wail of the banshee, the distorted lick and demented driving bass, the call to
arms and the baying for blood, all music to the ears and first of the mill. A symphony,
a song, a single scream, the soundtrack to the end of civilization. But we go out dancing.
Of all the batshit insanity bursting out of every frame in Mad Max: Fury Road,
one of the most delightful surprises is the Doof Warrior. He’s the
manic, masked guitarist perched atop a giant rolling stage festooned
with massive speakers, surrounded by a marauding war party tearing
through the desert, as he blasts rock metal licks from an electric
guitar fashioned from a bed pan that also doubles as a flame thrower.
The character makes a lasting impression without speaking a word, and he
is already some people’s favorite part about the movie. But that is
nothing in comparison to the joy experienced by the man who played him,
Australian actor-musician iOTA.
“It was so amazing,” iOTA told
BuzzFeed News by phone from Sydney. “I was hanging from the top of this
truck tearing through the desert, just going, ‘How did this happen?! How did I get here?!’”
46-year-old started his career as a rock star, releasing five albums
between 1999 and 2005 in his native Australia. He first made an impact
as a performer when he played the title role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, going on to win acclaim for lead roles in productions of The Rocky Horror Show and Smoke and Mirrors (which he co-created). But prior to Mad Max: Fury Road, his only other film experience was playing the crazed orchestra leader in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby in 2013. Still, he had grown up idolizing director George Miller’s original Mad Max trilogy, so when he first heard about Miller’s long-delayed efforts to make a fourth Mad Max movie, he told his agents, “I’d just do anything to be in that film.”
Roughly a year later, iOTA got a call for an audition. “They wanted
me to basically bring a guitar,” he said. “They said the character was
somewhere between Keith Richards and a scarecrow. So I just kind of got
in my best Mad Max 2 [aka The Road Warrior] outfit:
feathers and leather and bits and pieces. I blackened out my teeth and
went in there looking pretty disgusting. I played my guitar, and that
was it. I got the gig.”
It wasn’t until iOTA formally met with
Miller about the role, however, that he learned that it would require
him to dangle from a web of bungee cables as he tore through the desert
in Namibia with dozens of vehicles all around him. The idea behind the
character, production designer Colin Gibson explained to BuzzFeed News,
is that the Doof Warrior is Mad Max’s version of an army’s drummer boy, meant to inspire the warriors with a constant stream of rousing music.
“We had to go from little drummer boy to Spinal Tap
on wheels,” said Gibson. “We eventually ended up with an eight-wheel
drive all-terrain ex-rocket launcher with drums that are actually
reverberating through old air-conditioning ducts, which became a
superstructure that we then built the stage [onto] and connected the
speakers — the last Marshall [speaker] stack on the way to hell.”
makeshift guitar/flamethrower played by the Doof Warrior, meanwhile,
was so heavy — some 60 kilograms (or roughly 132 pounds) — that it also
had to be suspended by bungee cables. The first version was a bit
lighter, until Gibson realized just how practical Miller wanted it.
“Tragically, the first time I built the Doof Warrior’s guitar, it hadn’t
occurred to me that it would really have to work,” said Gibson. “I
thought that it was enough that it was a flame thrower and that it
looked like a guitar built out of a bed pan and God knows what else.
Until George said, ‘And where do you plug it in?’”
But even though iOTA could indeed make music with the guitar, he
wasn’t quite churning out complex melodies as the cameras rolled. “You
know, the guitar wasn’t great,” iOTA said. “It spent a lot of time in
the sun and the sand and the cold. So it was pretty hard to get a good
tune out of it. But it was a lot of fun. … I would just jam. I love
[bands like] Soundgarden, Sepultura, you know, just anything wiry and
disgusting. I was standing above an amplifier, which you can’t see
there. But it was lying on its back. I was standing above it, so the
guitar was actually blaring in my ears. I just went for it. I pulled out
all my rock licks that I could think of.”
It scarcely mattered,
however, that his guitar wasn’t making much by way of usable music. “It
was just a dream come true,” iOTA said with a giggle, like he still
could not believe his good fortune. “I’m such a fan of the films and I
just dreamed about it for so long. As a kid, I was always thinking, One day, I could be in
Mad Max. It was just the time of my life.” One perk of his job: Whereas
most of the war party was stuck amid the dust kicked up by dozens of
vehicles roaring through the desert, iOTA’s higher perch gave him a
perfect view of the gonzo tableau surrounding him. “It was like being on
a ride at the fair, except the best ride you can imagine,” he said. “It
was flames and smoke and oil and sound. It was a head-fuck, and a really good one.”
action movies have a great deal of downtime, but even then iOTA was
able to relax. “There was once when there was a lot of other stuff going
on, and I just kicked back and fell asleep in the harness,” he said.
“You put your feet up on the guitar and lean back, you can actually hang
like you’re in a hammock. I think there’s a moment in the film where
I’m actually doing that.”
Otherwise, iOTA said he spent much of his downtime during the film’s
six-month shoot alone in his apartment in the Namibian beach resort city
of Swakopmund, when he wasn’t getting to know the actor playing the
Doof Warrior’s master Immortan Joe, Hugh Keays-Byrne. “He actually
became a good friend of mine,” said iOTA. “I spent most of my time with
one cast member, it would be with Hugh. We’d hang out all the time, he
and his lovely wife Christina.”
Once production wrapped, iOTA focused his attention on his newest rock musical B-Girl,
which premieres next month at the Sydney Opera House. (The show is
actually being sold with iOTA’s unique name as big as the title.) And
about that name: iOTA explained he always knew even as a kid that he
wanted to change his name, in the same vein as ’70s rock icons like
David Bowie and Iggy Pop. “I just always like the word, iota, and I
thought it would be a good name for a band,” he said. “It just happened.
Like, eventually I ended up getting a solo show and I thought, This is my chance, I’m going to change my name to iOTA.”
for his name’s unique capitalization, iOTA said it was a practical
decision — at least, partly. “It would turn up in the newspaper as
‘Lota,’ which was annoying,” he said. “And, it just looks cool.”
Luke- Soft knocks caught your attention as you scrapped yesterdays food from a porcelain bowl. You quickly dried your hands and walked barefoot across the soft carpet of your living room to the door. You aligned your sight with the peep hole and saw the last person you wanted to see. Luke.
“(Y/N)?” you heard the familiar voice that haunted every nightmare you have had since he left. “I know you are in there. I saw your shadow when you approached the door.”
You cursed under your breath as leaned your head against the door, “Please, just go away,” you whisper-yelled as tears filled your eyes.
You two split up after an ugly, drunken argument that led to some vulgar name calling from both sides. Since that day, Luke has been calling, texting, showing up at your door, trying to get you to talk to him, and every time, it would lead to you crying in your room so you couldn’t hear him.
You leaned against the door and slid down it as sobs stuttered your breathing, “Just go.”
“Just listen to me. I know you hate me right now. I should have never said anything like that to you. Being drunk is no excuse. Since we have split up, I haven’t slept because I haven’t felt your warmth beside me. I haven’t been able to eat because it doesn’t taste like the meals you would make me. Hell, I haven’t been able to sit down for too long because your hair isn’t in my face like it was when we cuddled. I love you so much and I just can’t be me without you. I know you have been feeling like shit too and I am the one who put you there and I am so fucking sorry. I am so sorry I haven’t been able to be the man you always wanted to date and I so wish I could treat you like you always want to be treated,” you felt pressure against the door followed by sounds of quiet sobs from the other side.
You replayed his words in your head, “You didn’t ask me,” you whispered just loud enough for him to hear.
“What?” his voice croaked.
“You didn’t ask me to take you back.”
“I don’t deserve you back.” he whispered.
Calum- You flipped through your mail as your dog pulled you along for your walk. Bills, junk mail, and a couple college ads, but something new caught your eye. A small, white envelope was mixed in with the junk from your mailbox. Your mailing address was hand written on the front of the envelope but there was no return address. You turned it over and split the seal to open it when your dog decided to take off running. Your balance went with the dog and you ended up on the sidewalk, your mail flying everywhere.
“Thanks, (Y/D/N),” you said to your (T/D) as it licked the side of your face. You patted its head before retrieving your mail while still sitting down. Your hand grasped the small letter again. You looked around you before pulling out the paper from inside the envelope. You looked at the bottom to see who the writer was and rolled your eyes when you saw ‘Calum’ written in his oddly, girly hand writing.
You whipped your hand over your face as you debated weather to read it. You sighed before looking at the letter:
You won’t talk to me in person so I resorted to this. I know how you are a sucker for that one movie, Dear John or something like that, so I wrote you a letter just like the movie. I miss you. Life without you has been hell. I never realized how much my life has changed since you came into my life, until you left. I miss you. I miss your warm embrace, your light kisses in the morning, the tantrums you would throw when your favorite TV show ended in a cliff hanger. I miss us. I miss the late night walks to the park just to hang out in the tunnel, the spring cleaning days in the middle of winter where we would listen to music all day and throw out old junk, I miss the way we would look at each other funny every time we saw a broom, also the times when we would stay up all night whispering our secrets to each other in the bedroom, even though no one can hear us. I love you so much and I need you. I know I sound selfish but I need you. Please, please call me. I need to talk to you, to hear your voice, even if you won’t take me back. Just call, please.
The tears fell from your eyes as you finished reading. You heard a whimper from your dog beside you and you felt it lick your face once again.
“It’s okay baby,” you reassured it. You quickly pulled your phone from your pocket and called Calum.
“Hello?” you heard the groggy sound of the boy who stole your heart. You let out a sigh of relief as you heard his voice, you didn’t realize how much you missed the sound of it until you heard it.
“Hey,” you sighed as a new set of tears washed over you.
“(Y/N)?” he asked, the sleep leaving his voice.
“Yeah, um, we need to talk.”
“Yeah, I’ll come over, are you home?” you could hear the rustling of things through the other line as he got things ready.
“Not yet. but I will be. Just let yourself in.”
Michael- You pulled the pillows from the couch as you searched it for your phone. Today was day number three of not having your phone since you lost it and you were starting to lose your mind since your laptop was being repaired. You ripped the cushions from it in a panic as you searched. You reached your hand down the side of the couch and felt the smooth plastic of your phone. You wanted to cheer in excitement as you pulled it out. Your phone was blown up with notifications and you would have opened them all but your phone was going to die so you plugged it in and sat by the plug.
At the top of the list were your application notifications. Twitter, tumblr, instagram were the most you had and you quickly dismissed those. You then moved onto the more important ones. In the past 72 hours you had 37 missed calls and 18 texts. You became worried that you missed something important as you clicked on the missed calls. You went down the list and saw two calls from your sister, four from your mom, one from a 1-800 number and then thirty from your ex-boyfriend, Michael.
'What the hell?' you thought as you went through them. You were just going to blow off Michael’s and hear your mom’s and sisters.
(Y/N)? He sis, it’s (Y/S/N). Listen, I think you need to talk to Michael. He keeps calling us. I would be mad and tell him off for it, but, he just sounds so sad and I think you should just talk to him. Call me, or him, but call me sometime. Bye.
You shook your head and deleted the message and then moved onto the next one.
Hey, honey, trying to get a hold of you. Michael won’t stop calling the house. Your father will answer it and tell him to stop but he won’t. I talked to him yesterday and he just seemed so… upset. Could you just talk to him? Call me back sweety. Love you! Bye.
The rest of the messages were about the same thing. Michael. You sighed and clicked on the longest message from him and reluctantly put it to your ear. The message started off with sniffling and then you heard his voice.
Please take me back. I know you don’t want to deal with the distance when I’m tour and I know the fans have been getting to you even though you say they don’t. I can see it in your eyes when we are sprawled out on the bed when I get home from recording. I miss you so much and I don’t want to lose you. I would quit the band for you! Please talk to me. I can’t stand not waking up to your face in the morning, I miss your morning breath that you try hide by waking up earlier then me, but you never can because when ever you leave my arms, my body wakes me up so I can stop you from leaving. I need you, please come back. Plea…
A long beep cut off his words and you dropped the phone from your ear as you hid your face in your hands to hold back the tears.
“I want you back, Michael, but I can’t” you cried although you knew he couldn’t hear you.
It was dark before you stopped crying. You thought about how empty the apartment you were staying at felt without him. The shadows in the room felt bigger and darker, the echos felt louder and more hollow, the nightmares that ruled your sleepless nights felt more real and scarier than before even though they haven’t changed, all because he wasn’t there.
You quickly grabbed the phone to call him when it started playing your guys’ song. You knew it was him, even without looking at the caller I.D. You quickly pressed talk and held it to your ear.
You heard a quick breath before he talked, “Oh, thank God. I thought you weren’t going to answer again.”
“I lost my phone,” you told him. You could hear the weakness in your own voice and you knew he could to.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, worry laced in his words.
“I need you,” water fell onto your lap before you realized you were crying again. You wiped your hand across your face to catch the tears. You felt pathetic at how natural the gesture had become in the past couple hours.
Ashton- Aisle of movies were scanned by your wandering eyes as you hummed along to the music that played through the movie store’s speakers. A stack of movies were piled in your hands as you searched for one more to enjoy during the movie party you were having with yourself. You followed the different colors of movies until you pulled out one of your favorites. The Goonies. You laughed at the memories you had with your family watching the movie, but stopped when you though about the last time you and Ashton watched it. Flashes of yelling and screaming and doors slamming flashed through your thoughts before you aggressively put the movie back in its spot and walked to checkout.
The line was fairly short and you got to the front in minutes. Jessica, the checkout lady, smiled at you and typed in your name. You came around a lot to get movies so she knew who you were without asking. She picked up the scanner to checkout the movies when the computer dinged.
“Hold on, there is a movie in for you,” she quickly ducked under the desk and came back with a blank movie box.
“But I didn’t put anything on hold. Are you sure it’s for me?” you asked as you examined it.
“Yep, says right here that it is your and you are supposed to keep it,” she said as she looked at the screen. Jessica quickly scanned all the movies and handed them to you in a plastic bag. You waved goodbye as you left.
Your short drive home was full of wonder as you thought about the strange movie in your bag. I was unorthodox to think that they would just give you a movie, so when you got home, you popped it in first and sat down on the couch. You didn’t even bother to get into your movie jammies or make a bowl of popcorn. You needed to know what was on the disk.
The screen was black for a few minutes before a video of the boys at an interview played on the screen.
“So, I heard you and (Y/N) broke up a little while ago, is that true?” the interviewer asked.
“I would prefer not to talk about it,” Ashton sat between Michael and Luke as all three boys looked at their friend in sorrow.
“Oh come on. I’m sure there are some things you could tell us,” the interviewer pushed.
“He said he doesn’t want to talk about it,” Michael told him. You could see the rage building behind his eyes as he stood up for his friend.
“If you want to get back at her, you could tell some of her secrets and the fans would be all over th..”
“We said no and this interview is over!” Calum yelled at the man as he stood from his seat. Before the camera cut out, you saw Ashton with his face in his hands as his shoulders shook.
You brought your knees to your chest. You hadn’t really seen much of Ashton since you guys split, not even on the news. You did as much as you could to avoid it. You only saw glimpses of his picture on the front of magazines or pictures on their album that was sold in many of your favorite stores, but those were from older photo shoots. You never saw him in person.
The next video began to play.
“Ashton, stop!" you heard one of the boys yell and then a loud crash sounded.
The camera focused on Ashton, A bottle of beer in his hand, sitting on the floor with Calum holding him. The camera wasn’t focused completely on him but you could still see the majority of the picture.
"I just want her back,” you heard Ashton say quietly.
“It’s okay. I’m sure if you call her she’ll…" Luke was cut of my Ashton shaking his head.
"No. No, I really screwed up. Even if she did take me back, it wouldn’t be the same. You should of seen her face. She was so scared, but I was so mad and I couldn’t stop," he hid his face in Calum’s shoulder and cried some more.
Another video started, but you were out the door, keys in hand, as you rushed to get to Ashton’s place.
Poster for Jack Ruby Hi Power Sound System’s ill-fated trip to California, According to legend audiences failed to show for the first visit of a Jamaican sound to the west coast and the speakers they were using were abandoned along with some of the sessions. Think the speakers are the ones they kept back home!
“Can I come in?” Luke asked, peeking in through the curtain of your bunk. “No” you sighed. “Too bad” Luke said, scooting into your bunk and pushing you over so that he had room.
“Luke. Please. Just leave me alone for a while” you pleaded. “I don’t think that’s a good idea” he stated blankly. He wasn’t making a move to wrap his arms around you, you two were laying side by side on your tiny bunk bed with the curtain drawn. “I don’t want to talk” you said, trying to turn your back to him. He gently put his hand on your shoulder. “Don’t” he said.
“Y/n, why won’t you let anybody in?” he asked. “What do you mean? You’re in my bed right now” you attempted to make a joke. “Don’t try to hide behind humor, y/n. You know what I mean” he sighed. “I don’t want to let people in so I don’t. Get out of my bed now” you said, pushing him out of the bunk. You sighed and rolled over, drifting in and out of sleep.
You pulled yourself out of bed just in time to get ready for the show. Skipping a shower you pulled on the first clothes you found, carefully stepping into your combat boots, and running your hand through your hair a few times. You were frustrated and starting to get angry and you were ready to get it all out on stage tonight.
“Have fun y/n” Mikey said as he passed you walking towards the stage. “Fuck off Clifford” you said as you continued on your way. You didn’t want to deal with the boys, any on them. You walked on stage and heard the crowd go nuts, it almost put a smile on your face. “Alright fuckers! We’re going to get wild tonight” you screamed into your mic.
Throughout the set you were eyeing up the stack of speakers on the left of the stage. You enjoyed climbing and jumping off of things during your sets, it made everybody nervous and you knew the boys hated. So in an act of defiance you decided you were going to do it. It was one of the last songs of your set and you made your way to the top of the speakers, pausing to sing the chorus of the song from the top. Your drummer was looking to you with pleading eyes, he didn’t want you to do it, you winked and pushed yourself off into a front flip.
Your feet hit the floor, and your voice wavered mid word because of the pain that shot up your leg. You winced, taking a step forward, barely able to support your own weight on your now injured ankle. No doubt the boys noticed, but the crowd hadn’t seemed to. You finished your set, keeping your movements to a minimum.
Luke ran up on stage after you finished your last song. “Are you okay? Let me help you” he said quickly. “Fuck off. I can handle myself” you said, limping away on your own. You made your way to the dressing room and pulled your boot off. It was one of the most painful experiences of your life. And looking down you knew you had broken your ankle. “I’m a fucking idiot” you sighed.
You were left alone for 5SOS’s set and you spent a good time of it crying. You had been pushing the boys so far away lately that they were actually starting to be afraid of you and now that you needed help you didn’t have anybody. This always happened.
You knew the lads were done on stage because Ashton poked his head in the room. “Love? Are you okay?” he asked, knowing the answer. “Can you get Luke please?” you sniffled. Luke came running into the room seconds later. “Y/n” he said, pausing to look from your swollen, injured ankle to the tears falling down your face. “Y/n. What do you want me to do?” he asked. You pulled him down on the couch next to you and wrapped yourself around him, sobbing. He didn’t speak, just ran his hand through your hair in an attempt to comfort you.
“I’m going to take you to the emergency room” he said, kissing your forehead afterwards. You just nodded and choked down more sobs.